Should Officer Peter Casuccio be praised?
One Columbus, Ohio police officer is receiving both praise and criticism for lecturing two Black boys after stopping them for carrying a BB gun. As reported by The New York Times, Officer Peter Casuccio responded to a 9-1-1 call where authorities were alerted to two young Black males carrying a gun. In the full bodycam footage that was published by ABC News, viewers can watch Cascuccio exit his vehicle with his gun drawn. He instructs the children to get on their knees before confiscating the BB gun. Casuccio then lectures the youth.
“You can’t do that dude, in today’s world,” Casuccio tells the boys. “Listen, that thing looks real, bro.” He continued on to issue a stern warning. “I could’ve killed you. I want you to think about that tonight when you go to bed. You could be gone. Everything you want to do in this life could’ve been over.”
“Do you think I want to shoot an 11-year-old? Do you think I want to shoot a 13-year-old?," asks Casuccio in the video. “No sir,” answer the boys. “But do I look like the type of dude that will shoot somebody?,” Casuccio continued. “Yes, sir," replied the boys. The video was edited down to a two-minute clip of the officer lecturing the boys, and released by the Columbus police as a “life lesson” for young people. Viewers are divided about how they feel concerning the police releasing the edited video, citing the fact that law enforcement shouldn't be praising themselves for not killing innocent children. Others glorified the cop for taking a proactive method to mending relationships between the police and minorities in the predominantly black South Linden neighborhood. Casuccio drove one of the children home, and spoke to the mother about the incident. Neither child was arrested.